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Five Minutes On Forgetting

May 27, 2011

Courtesy of my dear friend’s blog, I am taking part in the Gypsy Mama’s 5 minute Friday post-a-thon.  The theme: writing about forgetting.  So here we go, 5 minutes, without stopping:

Stop.  Rewind.  Write it all down.  Ingrain it into your brain because one day you will forget.  One day you will be searching the far recesses of your brain for this one memory.  You will want to know the smell.  The smell of wood smoke rising up out of five hundred year old stone houses.  You will want to remember the dust that got stuck in the grooves of your shoes as you made your way to the center of town.  You will need to see this cobblestone, this very cobblestone you are currently standing on, as a way to ground yourself in the fact that you were here.  You were a part of this place and now, now it is forever a part of you.

Italy smells good.  Italy smells old.  Italy smells like the life I wish I could inhabit and the person I wish I could be.  For 4 brief months I stayed here, as a foreigner wishing I could make it my home.  But the funny thing is that for everyday I was there, desperately trying to hold onto each mental picture in a frame, I yearned for home.  I longed to make a home somewhere else while wishing my roots could go with me.  I wanted to implant myself in two places at once; to simultaneously remember and hold onto two places, two selves, two lives.  Would they connect some day?

I want to remember places.  I want to remember moments.  The smells and the history and the dust in the cathedrals.  I want to remember the fog slinking down the hillside on my morning runs.  I want to remember the purple flowers in the planter boxes of the houses that had been there longer than my country had been its own nation.  I want to remember coming here.  And I want to remember going back.  I want them both. I want to remember, and I never want to forget.

Stop.  5 minutes are up.
The Gypsy Mama – 5 Minute Friday

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 3:59 pm

    LAUREN! This makes me so unbelievably happy – I’m thrilled you’re joining us, thrilled at this writing. Ah. Italy does smell good and old and like the person I wish I could be. How did you manage to capture my thoughts in just five minutes? Thank you, dear friend.

  2. May 27, 2011 4:52 pm

    Welcome to Five minute fridays…I look forward to them all week! Post like yours are why….this is so beautiful, and so true. You captured the tension beautiful. I feel this tension even with raising my kids, I love the stage we are in, I don’t want to forget the memories past, but sometimes I long for the future to see the fruits of my labour. You make me really badly want to go to Italy again! One day in rome was certainly not enough…..

  3. Grace Walker permalink
    May 27, 2011 4:58 pm

    Your post makes me think of how I sometimes get homesick for traveling. It’s a bit different from wanderlust, I think. And I wonder how I could just stop and put down roots in a new place without ever looking back. I wonder if that’s how my ancestors did it when they moved to Australia. Good thoughts. Good post!

  4. May 27, 2011 5:08 pm

    You capture so beautifully what really makes a memory – the smell, the details, the feeling you had while experiencing these things. Beautiful post!

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